I never knew that grappling with a hot girl in a bikini while standing ankle-deep in an inflatable pool full of Jell-O was something I wanted to do before I died. Until tonight.
Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me set the stage.
It’s a Saturday night in downtown Macon, Georgia. The back porch of a local bar is more crowded than usual—it is, as Billy Joel might put it, a “pretty good crowd, for a Saturday.” I think it has something to do with the kiddie pool full of green Jell-O, although the two bikini-clad women rolling around in the slime might be more the cause.
The women are members of Macon’s brand-new roller derby team, and Jell-O wrestling is the centerpiece of their fundraising activities. If you aren’t clear how that works or what Jell-O wrestling is, let me break it down for you:
Jell-O Wrestling: A Comprehensive Guide
1) You get into Jell-O.
2) You wrestle.
There’s more to it than that—don’t step on the broken glass next to the pool, for example, and no matter what anyone tells you, biting is illegal—but that’s the premise. The girls of the Middle Georgia Derby Demons are auctioning themselves—or rather, the privilege of wrestling with them—and that’s where I come in, staring at black-haired beauty who twirls on a table to the delight of the (mostly male) crowd.
She stands on her table, the emcee calling out for bids. He asks for five dollars, ten dollars, twenty dollars—but at thirty-five, the bidding stops.
Thirty-five dollars? I have bar tabs that are less than that. But that’s for my intervention team to worry about. Tonight, it’s all about the Jell-O. I raise my hand and shout “Thirty-five!”
Turns out, that’s all it takes to get into the Jell-O wrestling game. I’m hustled into a corner where a brief transaction occurs. Stripping off my shirt, shoes, and belt, I’m approached by a serious-looking young woman with a clipboard. “Sign here,” she tells me, shoving the clipboard towards my newly-revealed pastiness.
I sign my name on a brief waiver, the entire contents of which could fit on a napkin. I don’t even read it. “What are the rules?” I ask.
“If you grope anybody, or pull off any clothes, you’re gonna get hit,” she tells me. “Hard.”
“Okay,” I say. “How do I win?”
She looks at me like I had asked her how to fall off of a boat, or how to eat yogurt. “You already have,” she tells me.
And with that, I’m in the ring.
I have about a second and a half to get used to the feel or the Jell-O between my toes—which feels exactly like you’d expect, and no different—before a girl dressed as a ninja turtle signals the beginning of the match.
My first instinct—cinch in a front facelock, go to ground, and apply leg scissors—is stymied by the simple fact that you could get more traction trying to convince a Neo Con to raise taxes than you can standing ankle deep in Jell-O. I lunge forward and fall flat on my face, the ooze coming up to my ears.
For a long two minutes, that’s how it goes—a breathless, often brutal struggle for dominance, surrounded by nameless faces howling for blood, or at the very least, a nipple slip (for some reason, the crowd is not impressed with my shirtlessness, but that might be because they were blinded by the glare). I can’t hear them over the sound of my heart pounding, but I’ll also be picking Jell-O out of my ears for the next two days, so maybe that has something to do with it.
We grab, roll, and thrash. I acquit myself well, I think, at one point almost getting in a fireman’s carry takedown that I’m certain would have impressed the crowd. But I have no leverage, and I end up going for a half-hearted ankle lock instead. My opponent more than held her own, if you’re curious. She had a strong core, and lots of stamina. I expect she’ll do well in the derbies.
All too quickly, the match is at an end. I shake hands with the girl and slosh back to my clothes, a film of Jell-O already cooling, hardening, encasing my body in a cocoon of high-fructose. I am briefly greeted as a hero by the crowd, but before too long they have forgotten me, turned back to the ring to see the next bout. Such is the fate of gladiators, I ruminate, as I put my clothes back on.
I squelch back towards my car, slipping and sliding inside my shoes. I reflect on the night’s activities. I had spent $35, stripped in front of a crowded bar, and rolled around in green Jell-O with a girl in a bikini, all in less than an hour. To offer a point of comparison, it takes me longer than that to decide what I want for dinner (and the answer is usually Taco Bell anyway).
If I had to put a moral to this story, I’d say it’d be this: if you hear about a roller derby team hosting a Jell-O wrestling tournament, give me a call. I’ll be there with bells on. And a pair of swim trunks, because seriously, you cannot get Jell-O out of slacks.
You can check out the Middle Georgia Derby Demons here.
Ross tussled with more underground entertainment in Ten Indie Comics That Prove You’re A Better Nerd Than Everyone Else, probably while he was inebriated with Five Essential Mixers (to Mask Cheap Booze).